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S. Korean economy shows some signs of recovery

All Headlines 10:31 April 11, 2017

SEJONG, April 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's economy is showing some signs of a recovery led by a steady rise in exports, investment and an upturn in private consumption, a government report said Tuesday.

"As exports-led momentum boosted production and investment and private consumption bottomed out in recent months, the South Korean economy seems to present some signs of a turnaround," the finance ministry said in its monthly economy assessment report called the "Green Book."

The report is based on the latest economic indicators of such key factors as output, exports, consumption and corporate investment that could provide clues as to how the economy has been faring in recent months.

The ministry said brisk exports spearheaded the upside pace in the production side.

Outbound shipments rose 13.7 percent on-year in March on a sharp increase in semiconductors and petroleum products. It marked the fifth consecutive on-year growth for the first time since December 2011.

Industrial output fell 3.4 percent in February from a month earlier, but it rose 6.6 percent from a year earlier on increased production in machinery and cars.

The growing overseas demand for chips led facility investment, which jumped 19.5 percent on-year in February.

Moreover, retail sales also gained 3.2 percent on-month in February, a rebound from a consecutive drop for the November-January period.

In March, department stores and discount outlets saw their sales rise 1.7 percent and 3.2 percent from a year ago, respectively, despite a 39.1 percent plunge in the number of Chinese tourists.

The composite consumer sentiment index also entered an upside cycle to reach 96.7 percent in March, after bottoming out at an eight-year low of 93.3 in January.

The finance ministry said despite some positive signs in the South Korean economy, there are rising external and internal downside pressures in the coming months.

brk@yna.co.kr
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